Master Butchers Singing Club

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9780060533274: Master Butchers Singing Club

What happens when a trained killer discovers that his true vocation is love? Having survived the killing fields of World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns home to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend who was killed in action.

With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious set of knives, Fidelis sets out for America, getting as far as North Dakota, where he builds a business, a home for his family -- which includes Eva and four sons-and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town.

When the Old World meets the New -- in the person of Delphine Watzka -- the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted; she meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine's life -- and the trajectory of this brilliant new novel by Louise Erdrich

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Review:

Louise Erdrich's The Master Butchers Singing Club is a powerfully told story of love, death, redemption, and resurrection. After German soldier Fidelis Waldvogel returns home from World War I to marry his best friend's pregnant widow, he packs up his father's butcher knives and sets sail for America. He settles in Argus, North Dakota, where he sets up a meat shop with his wife Eva, who quickly befriends the struggling yet resourceful Delphine Watzka. Delphine, who runs a vaudeville show with her balancing partner Cyprian Lazarre, has returned home to Argus to care for her alcoholic father. While most of this emotionally rich novel focuses on the changing landscape of small-town life as seen through Delphine and Fidelis's eyes, Erdrich does a masterful job of illuminating hidden dramas through her secondary characters. Erdrich's portrayal of these various townsfolk, including members of the Master Butchers Singing Club, truly shows off her storytelling talent. Her ability to infuse each character with a distinct and multifaceted personality makes this novel an intimate and thought-provoking adventure. --Gisele Toueg

About the Author:

Louise Erdrich grew up in North Dakota and is a mixed blood enrolled in the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe. She is the author of eight novels, including the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Love Medicine and the National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, as well as poetry, children's books, and a memoir of early motherhood, The Blue Jay's Dance. Her short fiction has won the National Magazine Award and is included in the O. Henry and Best American short-story collections. She lives in Minnesota with her children, who help her run a small independent bookstore, The Birchbark.

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